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Organic Food
Why It’s Healthier For You

Eating organic food will give you the peace of mind that you are not eating a toxic chemical cocktail. Organically grown food is produced without chemical pesticides, fungicides and fertilizers. It is not irradiated or genetically modified.

Moreover, you will have a more flavorful dining experience. The flavor of a food is a result of the nutrients present in the soil. Organic farming methods produce soil rich in the full spectrum of nutrients required to grow wholesome nutritious food.

Organic foods are produced in soils that are naturally and ecologically in balance with nature. On the other hand, conventional farming chemically fertilizes with just a few chemical nutrients and manages pests with numerous chemical pesticides. Of the 25 most commonly used pesticides in conventional agriculture, 18 irritate the eyes, skin and lungs, 17 cause genetic damage, 11 cause cancer, 10 are harmful to the reproductive system and 5 damage the nervous system.

To preserve the wholeness of the food, organic foods are minimally processed, without preservatives or artificial ingredients. By limiting the amount of processing of organic packaged foods, the loss of nutrients is minimized. Highly processed foods lose a lot of the nutrients present in the food in it's raw, natural state. The addition of preservatives and artificial ingredients gives foods a longer shelf life and may cause a variety of adverse health conditions.

By choosing organic foods you are safeguarding your health by reducing the amount of toxic chemicals that enter your body. More and more people every year are realizing the value of eating food that has been produced without the use of harmful chemical pesticides and fertilizers. Organic foods are an essential part of a healthy eating program. Organic Consumer Trends 2001, a research study by the Organic Trade Association, shows a 22% annual increase in the sales of organic products over the last 10 years.

Certified Organic

If a food is certified organic, it has been inspected by an independent organization to verify that it meets strict organic standards set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. To meet these standards, harmful chemicals must not have been used on the land growing the organic produce for at least 3 years. The farm that grows the food and the facility that processes the food must be inspected annually to retain the certified organic status. Detailed records must be kept of farming, processing and manufacturing practices. Soil fertilization and pest control must be done with ecologically friendly methods and materials. The soil and water must be tested periodically to ensure they are meeting the standards.

If a food is said to be organic, but is not certified organic, then it may or may not meet all of these requirements for certified organic food.

National Organic Food Standards

When a product says "organic" on the label, that does NOT mean it is 100% organic. The National Organic Standards Board has defined four specific levels of organic classification. Briefly summarized, they are:

"100% Organic"

The product must contain only organically produced raw or processed ingredients, by weight or fluid volume, excluding water and salt.

"Organic"

The product must contain at least 95 percent organically produced raw or processed ingredients, by weight or fluid volume, excluding water and salt.

"Made with Organic Ingredients"

The product must contain at least 70 percent organically produced raw or processed ingredients, by weight or fluid volume, excluding water and salt.

"Less than 70 percent organic ingredients"

Products with less than 70 percent organic ingredients may only state the specific organic ingredients in the ingredient list on the label.

Source: USDA National Organic Program

But beware ... Not All Organic Foods Are Healthy. Find out how to tell which organic foods are healthy and which are not. Get your copy of the Special Report, "The Truth About Organic Food ... Just Because It Says Organic On The Label Does NOT Mean It’s Healthy."


Organic Food Resources

Beyond Organic
Our Mission is to transform the health of this nation and world, one life at a time by creating superior quality foods and beverages while teaching the principles of healthy eating, abundant living and environmental stewardship.

Your Organic Kitchen: The Essential Guide to Selecting and Cooking Organic Foods by Jesse Ziff Cool
Nationally known chef and restaurateur Jesse Ziff Cool shows you the how's and why's of cooking with organics, from stocking your organic pantry to combining seasonal flavors and creating exciting, elegant dishes. Best of all, she offers up a treasure trove of 160 magnificent recipes that reflect her love of food and her commitment to sustainable agriculture and cuisine.

The Organic Foods Sourcebook by Elaine Marie Lipson
This comprehensive reference explains the important health and environmental benefits of organic foods. It details where to find and buy them on a budget, and how "organic" differs from other "eco-labels." It also provides key information about current legislative activity as well as a complete resource guide.

The Whole Organic Food Book by Dan Jason presents growing tips and helpful hints on natural gardening techniques, as well as recipes you can make from the food you grow.



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